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Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601)
- Ayre IX. When Laura Smiles - Part 1 -

Back to 'Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) Ayres VI to VIII.'
To A Booke Of Ayres X to XVII.

IX. WHEN LAURA SMILE

1. When Laura smiles her sight revives both night and day,
2. The earth and heav'n views with delight her wanton play
3. And her speech with everflowing music doth repair,
4. The cruel wounds of sorrow and untam'd despair.
And her speech with everflowing music doth repair,
The cruel wounds of sorrow and untam'd despair.

5. See where the sprites that remain in fleeting air,
6. Affect for pastime to untwine her tressed hair,
7. And the birds think sweet Aurora Morning's queen doth shine
8. From her bright sphere when Laura shows her looks divine.
And the birds think sweet Aurora Morning's queen doth shine
From her bright sphere when Laura shows her looks divine.

9. Diana's eye's are not adorned with greater power
10. Than Laura's, when she lifts awhile for sport to lure.
11. But when she her eyes encloseth, blindness doth appear
12. The chiefest grace of beauty sweetly seated there.
But when she her eyes encloseth, blindness doth appear
The chiefest grace of beauty sweetly seated there.

15. Love hath no fire but what he steals from her bright eyes.
16. Time hath no power but that which in her pleasure lies.
17. For her with her divine beauties all the world subdues,
18. And fills with heavenly spirits my humble Muse.
For her with her divine beauties all the world subdues,
And fills with heavenly spirits my humble Muse.


IX. When Laura Smiles -- Notes, Recordings and Comments Part 1

The music is by Philip Rosseter and words could be by him since he plainly styled them 'mine owne.'

Britannica.com passes on these comments about this song;
"When Laura smiles, her sight revives both night and day" the first line of no. IX, is itself slightly peculiar in its freedom from any marked caesura [(in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a line**], a feature reproduced in the first lines of stanzas 3 and 4. But hardly any two corresponding lines in the rest of the poem are metrically similar.*

There are two epigrams, written by Campian in his 'Book I' of 'The Epigrams Of Thomas Campion,' written to 'Laura'. Dr. D. F. Sutton*** from The University of California has a wonderful web site on Thomas Campion's Latin poetry. These two epigrams, following, are quoted from that site. The Epigrams in Latin comes first and is then followed by ***Dr. Sutton's English translation.


63. AD LAURAM

Egregie canis, in solis sed, Laura, tenebris;
nil bene fortassis non facis in tenebris.

63. TO LAURA

You sing wonderfully, Laura, but only in the dark.
There's nothing you don't do well in the dark.


173. AD LAURAM

Singula dum miror tua labra, oculosque, genasque;
quicquid id est verbis, Laura, modesta premis.
crines sin laudo, perfusa rubore silescis;
quam misere non hos esse fatere tuos.

173. TO LAURA

While I admire each of your features,
Laura, your lips, your eyes, your cheeks,
whichever I mention you modestly deprecate.
But if I praise your hair you turn red and fall silent.
How unhappily you confess that it is not your own.



More comments about 'Laura,' 'Rosseter' and 'Campian' are continued in 'When Laura Smiles' Part 2.
'When Laura Smiles' is on of Rosseter's most popular songs. It is one of my personal favorite Elizabethan songs and I have been trying to play it for years.
The first two stanzas of 'When Laura smiles' were typed on a web site headed "English lyrics with transations" I can not tell you more about it because I don't read Russian. If you want to see a Russian[?] translation of this lyric visit that site at - http://www.ark.ru:8101/lyrics/renessans.html
There are many recording of this song and here are only a couple;

One CD called 'A Gardin For Delights' is yet another CD whose title was inspired by Robert Jones's fifth book. Rosseter's 'What them is love but mourning' is also on the CD as well as two songs by Robert Jones ('Love is a bable' and 'There Was a Wily lad') and three Thomas Campian songs.

A Gardin For Delights - English Lutesongs From the Renaissance
Ian Partridge (tenor) and Konrad Ragossnig (lute)
Ayre No. 4 on the CD. 1996 - Bayer Records 100 130

The Queen's Men - Earl of Essex, Anthony Holborne, ...
Camerata Of London
Song No. 13 on the CD. (erroneously credited to John Dowland on the back cover). Released in 1978. CRD Records Ltd.


Patrick T. Connolly January, March and April, 2002

* Britannica.com http://www.britannica.com/seo/t/thomas-campion/ - ?The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. 1907 21

** The Concise Oxford Dictionary -Eighth edition 1990.

***Dana F. Sutton is the Professor of Classics at The University of California 120 Humanities Office Building II, Irvine CA 92692-2000 http://eee.uci.edu/~papyri/campion/epigrams_1.html#173



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